Seeing rambutan for the first time may be quite intimidating. Found out how to cut rambutan and more about this delicious fruit!
What is rambutan?
Rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum) is a fruit recognized for its unusual scarlet hue and white flesh, which tastes like a balance of sourness and sweetness when mature. The fruit gets its name from the Malay word “rambut,” which means “hair,” and refers to the long, hairlike spinterns (or soft spines) on its rinds. These green tendrils resemble those found on dragon fruit.
This tropical fruit is indigenous to Southeast Asia, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Rambutan seeds migrated from their Asian origins to other tropical areas, and gardeners in Central America and Hawaii now harvest these distinctive fruits. Rambutans grow from evergreen trees, and the fruits typically have a two-month growing season. Each fruit is around a giant kiwi or a tiny apple.
Rambutans belong to the Sapindaceae (or soapberry) family, including lychee and longan fruit. Like lychee or mango, rambutans have a single big seed. They have high calcium, carbohydrate, fibre, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamin C content.
How to cut rambutan?
If this is your first time sampling rambutan, you may be put off by its prickly exterior — but don’t be! With a paring knife, a rambutan is surprisingly simple to peel. Wait until just before serving to peel the rambutan.
- Rinse well
Give the rambutan a brief rinse under running water.
- Slice through the peel
To peel and slice rambutan, use a paring knife to cut through the skin with little pressure delicately. However, don’t use too much effort to cut through the peel and leave the inside rambutan meat intact. Circularly slice around the entire rambutan peel, beginning and finishing at the top where the stem was.
- Remove peel
After cutting, the prickly shell of the rambutan is easily peeled away. Remove both ends of the peel, or serve the rambutan just half peeled with the flesh facing up for a lovely and unique presentation.
- Enjoy whole or remove the seed
A solitary seed characterizes rambutans in the middle. Serve the rambutan whole, eating around the seed (or spitting it out!). Alternatively, you can cut through the rambutan meat and extract the seed by hand. Some seeds will readily come out, while others may stick to the surface. Make another tiny cut into the edible flesh of the apple to remove the huge inner seed. If the raw seed comes out readily, you’re dealing with a freestone rambutan; if it’s tough to remove, you’re dealing with a clingstone rambutan. There are hundreds of distinct cultivar names and many other varieties of these plants in addition to these two classes.
- Enjoy your rambutan
You may now eat the rambutan’s edible section. Its unusual look does not detract from the fact that it tastes like any other sweet fruit with a hint of acidity.
What does rambutan taste like?
It reminds me of a huge skinless grape at first glance. Taste is subjective, but I find them quite sweet with a bit of sourness. It also has a lovely tropical flavor to it. The texture is similar to a cross between a grape or even cherry. It’s smooth and simple to consume. When a piece of the skin slips off the seed, it has a woody flavour. They do have a lychee-like flavor. This makes sense, given that they belong to the same fruit family.
It’s delicious. If you’ve never tried one before, it’s worth a go. Depending on where you reside, they are reasonably priced. Usually, I can acquire 20 to 25 of these for roughly $3.00.
Can you freeze rambutan?
Rambutans can be frozen, and they do so extremely well. However, this is not a smart idea if you intend to freeze them and consume them later. The issue arises when the ice begins to melt. The meat will become mushy and watery as it thaws.
However, if you’re going to use rambutan to make fruit juice, smoothies or desserts, you may freeze it. They are ideal for blending with other fruits and vegetables due to their soft flesh and high liquid content. Rambutan can be frozen entirely or simply the flesh with the seed within. A full rambutan fruit will freeze nicely in the freezer, but it will not keep for long. Rambutans will keep for about three months in the freezer. Following then, the fruit’s quality will begin to deteriorate. It’s still safe to eat, but it won’t taste as wonderful as it did when it was fresh.
If you want to keep it for up to a year, freezing simply the flesh is a preferable alternative. It is ideal for removing the outer skin and leaving the seed within the body. The seed will help keep the fruit spherical and prevent it from splitting apart. You’ll want to flash freeze the rambutan first, so it doesn’t clump together during freezing.
How to freeze rambutan?
- Place the rambutan fruit in a strainer basket and run it under cold water.
- Remove the fruit’s outer peel. The skin can be separated by slitting the skin with a sharp knife.
- Place a sheet of baking or cooking parchment on a clean tray.
- Place one rambutan on each page. They should be separated so that they do not contact one another.
- Place the fruit tray in the freezer. Freeze them in the freezer for 30 minutes or until totally frozen.
- Remove them from the freezer as soon as possible and place them in a freezer bag.
- Fill the bag halfway with rambutan, leaving approximately an inch of room at the top.
- Squeeze out as much air as possible from the bag before sealing it.
- Place the bag in the freezer and label it with the date. If you have more than one bag of rambutan, stack them on top of each other in the freezer to conserve room.
- rambutan (fresh)
How to keep rambutan fresh?
Rambutan is a fruit that spoils soon after harvesting. Because these fruits will continue to ripen until they go rotten, the low temperature prevents them from ripening. Aside from that, keeping rambutan fresher for longer will begin with the grocery store. It can remain fresh until you’re ready to consume it if you know what to look for and how to handle it properly.
How to buy rambutan:
When purchasing rambutan, always go for the ones that appear to be the freshest. It’s easy to discern with this fruit because the fruit’s skin determines its quality. Look for one that is vividly colored in terms of looks. The fruit’s skin should be vivid crimson. If it’s green, it means the fruit hasn’t matured yet. The fruit’s spikes should be brilliant green and delicate.
Even when the fruit is highly colored, which indicates high quality, be sure there are no fractures in the rind. It may be destroyed during harvesting and transportation. A slight fracture in the peel exposes the fruit’s flesh to air. When the fruit is exposed, it begins to rot fast.
The last thing to look for is rambutan fruit hardness. Take one and gently squeeze a few different areas of the apple. It should be firm with no soft places. If it does or if juices flow out of it, the fruit is spoiled.
Rambutan storage and handling:
Even though the fruit has a thick rind and is lightweight, it should be handled cautiously. It must be kept out of direct sunlight and other heat sources at all times. The skin of the fruit will split open when exposed to heat. When this happens, the flesh within begins to decay fast.
Avoid cramming them together while keeping them in a basket, container, or plastic bag. As the fruit ripens, the skin begins to weaken, and if they are subjected to additional weight or pressure, they will prematurely break open. It’s ideal for storing roughly 20 to 30 fruits together in a basket or container. Once you’ve zipped up a plastic bag, ensure sure the fruit can move around freely.
How to tell when rambutan is bad:
When the rambutan fruit becomes rotten, a few things to look out for. However, you may still have time to consume or utilize it before it spoils. Some of the warning signals to look for are as follows:
Appearance – Fresh rambutan will have bright outer skin with strong hairs. When it begins to deteriorate, the colour of the fruit darkens, and the outer skin begins to wrinkle. In addition, the bristles on the fruit’s skin will fade and turn a deeper tint.
Cracking and breaking the rind are some signs to look for. When the fruit rots, the fruit’s flesh should be white. When it begins to deteriorate, the color of the flesh begins to turn yellowish.
However, while the look may appear this way, the fruit may still be safe to eat if the flavor and fragrance are satisfactory.
Flavor – Bad rambutan will have a sour fermented taste to it. A high-quality rambutan will have a sweet flavor.
Smell – The perfume of fresh rambutan is delicious. It will begin to smell fermented as it deteriorates. It’s advisable to toss it away if it starts to smell anything other than that delicious perfume.
Conclusion on how to cut rambutan:
Eat your fresh rambutans as a snack or as a fresh fruit dessert. Like lychees and longans, Rambutans are a fantastic complement to a fresh tropical fruit salad. Canned rambutans are also available in overseas markets.
Learn how to cut:
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